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No. 29 • July - December 1999 • Page 275
 •  Initiatives

Campinas, Brazil (Pencil in Hand)

Vila Brandina is a slum area with several thousand residents in the western area of the city of Campinas. The ever-present poverty has an especially great impact on children, given the lack of basic hygiene and sufficient food.

The program entitled Lápis na Mão (Pencil in Hand) arose as a contribution to solving the educational problems of the area. The program provides supplementary classes and drills that increase the children’s capacity for thinking and for teamwork.

Lápis na Mão is run by students from the State University of Campinas who frequent the Castelo Cultural Center, in which these activities are organized. A large number of children attend the classes, which are held every Saturday. Catechism classes are also provided as well as recreational and sports activities.

In addition, a mobile medical clinic set up in connection with the Lápis na Mão program provides treatment to pupils and their families and gives classes in hygiene and first-aid to the people in Vila Brandina.

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